Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About a Dog

Ebon specifically. Ebon is a black Labrador Retriever from field stock who had his sixth birthday earlier this year. I knew him nearly from birth, and I am glad I was able to go through such an experience. His breeder was the mother of a good friend of mine. Ebon's mother, Hellon, was a sixty pound chocolate working duck retriever and was getting older. She was good at what she did, and the breeder hoped they could get a puppy just as good. I never met the father, but Rebel was also a duck dog, yellow this time and nearly one hundred pounds. Unfortunately, when Hellon was pregnant their home was robbed and the dogs were drugged and thrown into the bathroom. They were concerned about the puppies, and had reason to be. 

The litter was born in mid January 2005: five boys, all black. It came as quite a surprise to the breeder. With a chocolate mother and yellow father, they were expecting a colorful litter. I met the pups for the first time when they were two weeks old. They were five perfect little creatures, active and vocal as can be. Their puppy names came quickly: partly from their behavior and partly from the ribbons placed around their necks. Red was Reddy, yellow Sunshine, dark blue Grunt, light blue Little Boy Blue, and green was Crapper. They grew so quickly into active little things, and their mother would hop the baby gate to be away from them when they got especially rowdy.

Before long, they were two months old and it was time for them to go to their new homes. One by one, they left, and eventually little Grunt, then called Calvin was the only one left. The person who was supposed to take him had changed their mind. The breeder didn't want to keep him, as she had wanted to keep a female, so she went on the hunt to find him a new home. Time passed, and he got older, and now few people wanted to adopt a puppy that old. After he turned five months old, the breeder approached me. If I fixed him he would be mine free of charge. I was a junior in high school, and after some coaxing my parents let it happen.

Ebon became my dog, joining a household that already included a ten-year-old Lab mutt (Charlie) and two cats (four-year-old Albus and three-year-old Ginny). He has been my pride and joy ever since. He matured to be a handsome, eighty-five pounds of lean muscle. He's no duck dog, but he probably could have been if that was the path I had wanted to go down. Instead, he's a much-loved pet and will be mine until the day he dies. He's been quite a lesson to me, and we grew up together in a lot of ways. I teach him tricks for fun, and hope to one day certify him as a therapy dog. I might also get him into dock jumping, flyball, or agility. Right now we do aspects of each in play. I plan to post the list of commands he knows. It's fairly extensive.

Last year we discovered Ebon has epilepsy. It's mild, and he only has a seizure every four to six months or so. Each episode had been brief and minor, though it clearly frightens him. He does not require medication. I wonder if the incident while his mother was pregnant could have caused it, because there isn't a family history and all the puppies in the litter have it. No matter what, I still love him to bits and I always will.

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